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The power of people propagating plants….

Date: 1st November 2022

I recently had the pleasure of going to a propagation workshop held by Wilding Free MacKenzie. Propagation of native species that is – not those marching green trees we saw extending right up to the tops of the hills behind the little treasure that is Menards Ecosanctuary on Manuka Terrace. No snow on those hills – just a marching line of green trees that need to be down and brown!

Marching wildings heading for the hills taken from Manuka Terrace, Twizel, October 2022

Around a dozen people attended and enjoyed an interactive and really interesting session with Jo Wakelin who has huge experience with propagating native trees in the challenging environments you mainlanders live and work in. It was great to see people so interested and be able to learn some basic propagation biology, prepare and sow a range of different seed types and prick out trays of seedlings to then take home.

I know what it takes to go from seed collection to planting having learned on Tiritiri Matangi island when it was being revegetated in the late ’80-early 90’s when I was a relieving ranger for DOC but what it takes in the South Island with different and more challenging growing conditions takes it to a whole new level.

Jason Menard marching the workshop crew through Menards Ecosanctuary

Thanks to all who attended. It was a pleasure meeting you all and seeing firsthand the care, interest and commitment to getting more native plants into gardens, local reserves, areas where wilding control has been undertaken and many other places. Much conversation was had about the diversity of native plants in the MacKenzie and the challenging growing conditions in Twizel and that’s not including the rabbits… It’s the collective efforts of these people that make a huge difference to the establishment of corridors for our native species and covering the bare ground left by dead wildings.

Special thanks to Haeleigh Turner from Wilding Free MacKenzie, Jo Wakelin and Jason Menard from Menard Ecosanctuary. Kia kaha to you all.

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